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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Braid

The Braid

Helen Frost

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


Two sisters, Jeannie and Sarah, tell their separate yet tightly interwoven stories in alternating narrative poems. Each sister – Jeannie, who leaves Scotland during the Highland Clearances with her father, mother, and the younger children, and Sarah, who hides so she can stay behind with her grandmother – carries a length of the other's hair braided with her own. The braid binds them together when they are worlds apart and reminds them of who they used to be before they were evicted from the Western Isles, where their family had lived for many generations.

The award-winning poet Helen Frost eloquently twists strand over strand of language, braiding the words at the edges of the poems to bring new poetic forms to life while intertwining the destinies of two young girls and the people who cross their paths in this unforgettable novel. An author's note describes the inventive poetic form in detail.

The Braid is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Lion & Unicorn Award-Exc. NA Poet Honor, School Library Best Books of the Year, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), NCSS-CBC NotableTrade-Soc.Stdy, Kirkus Reviews Editor's Choice, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A , Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List

From The Braid
. . . The
bay was still. Moonlight on the water made a path from our
Scottish sea to –where? Where, I wonder, will we all be eating
supper in two months' time? One year? I linked arms...

Praise for The Braid

“This gem of a book ultimately tackles age-old issues of teen pregnancy, death, poverty, and first love in a timeless manner. Accomplished and impressive.” —Starred, School Library Journal

“The braid is both powerful fact and stirring metaphor . . . the book will inspire students and teachers to go back and study how the taut poetic lines manage to contain the powerful feelings.” —Starred, Booklist

“Frost's ingeniously structured novel in verse . . . may be set in 1850, but its themes will resonate with today's teens. Memorable. ” —Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Poetry, adventure, romance, historical fiction--this book has something for every reader.” —VOYA

“Incredibly imagery, rich vocabulary, and powerful storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Compellingly poignant as well as authentic.” —Horn Book

“A compelling story that will see poetry-shy readers through.” —The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

“Makes for good discussion in the social studies classroom. Poetic and lyrical.” —Signal

“This inventive, emotionally compelling story full of adventure, drama and romace will enthrall readers.” —Language Arts


Reviews from Goodreads

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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